“the passages describing the weather and setting the scene that begin each chapter and that separate scenes within chapters were not added to the novel until the final months before publication”
oolf resorted to the weather as an alternative solution to what she perceived as the novel’s main problem: extremely abrupt and incoherent transition between scenes.
“I think the change of scene is whats so exhausting: the catching people plumb in the middle: then jerking off. Every beginning seems lifeless— & them I have to retype
Descriptions of seasonal cycle can produce paradoxical effects. On the one hand, it portrays an ever-changing world and helps us imagine time in terms of space: streets, pathways, and backyard gardens covered with snow in winter and filled with dry leaves in autumn
The weather’s insertion in The Years is paradoxical from the start, and so is the impact it produces.
He famously coined the term “forecast” (88) in his 1863 Th e Weather Book, which was written as a manual for amateur weather observers
Th e weather’s transformative power and impact on place can be seen in the novel’s Oxford section of 1880
Meteorology,” he wrote, “never can be an exact science, like Astronomy, because its elements are incessantly changing, in nature as well as quantity ; but it does not therefore require a merely superficial degree of attention” (vii-viii). It is this very ambivalence in the weather that The Years demonstrates
he forgot where she was... She could almost see the moors brighten and darken as the clouds pass over them. But then in two strides the unfamiliar street became the street she had always known...and next moment she was out in the famous crooked street with all the domes and steeples
lthough her vision of Yorkshire appears only in a short while, it has a haunting effect. Woolf’s “rainbow” is suddenly juxtaposed with the “granite” as Kitty turns the corner and finds herself in a familiar street. The changing weather as well as the switch from vision to reality gives her the status of an outsider possessing a mind which has just travelled to a place “other” than this mundane university town
“the moment of discursive transparency
he semantic seems to prevail over the syntactic, the signified over the signifier” (155)
She realizes that had Hiscock, the butler, been placed or stationed somewhere else, his ways of speaking and behaving would have been different. It is social class systems that divide them. It is social norms that make his weather remarks sound most unnatural to her ears. The ambivalent weather, therefore, unbolts a new possibility of seeing and understanding society as a physical and as a discursive construct
Th e weather is portrayed in the novel as having the power to unite people in an imag- ined community. At the same time, its ambivalence can also shatter the illusion of that very sense of communit
It was not actually raining, but the great open space was full of mist; and there was nobody near, so that she could talk aloud
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